D.C.'s Evolving Gun Laws

The D.C. City Council continues its herky-jerky reactions to the Supreme Court's Heller decision overturning its ban on usable guns in the home. Back in September, it finally gave in and obeyed the spirit of the Supreme Court decision and finally allowed even semiautomatic handguns to be registered, and even loaded.

Yesterday, as the Washington Post reports, the D.C. Council gave

preliminary approval to legislation that would require gun owners to renew their registrations every three years and to notify police annually whether they still own guns.

These sort of niggling restrictions on the right to have weapons in the home strike Alan Gura, the lawyer who successfully argued Heller before the Court, as similarly open to legal challenge. He

said requiring repeated registration will bring the city more legal problems. "None of this is going to reduce crime, but it is going to increase litigation," said Gura, the lead counsel for the plaintiffs in the Supreme Court case. "While I have not studied the bill, requiring people to register and re-register every year is harassment."

Andrew Arulanandam, a spokesman for the National Rifle Association, said he had not seen the legislation. Still, he said, "if the mayor and the city counsel continue to defy the United States Supreme Court, the National Rifle Association will seek a remedy either by legal or legislative means."

"What they are trying to do is to make it difficult as possible for law-abiding people to own a firearm."

To what extent complicated or demanding registration processes impinge on the Second Amendmend right declared in Heller will doubtless be a topic in many future lawsuits--and already is in ongoing suits against Chicago, which requires yearly re-registration, and makes a given weapon eternally unregisterable if you miss a re-reg deadline.

My book on the Heller case and gun control, Gun Control on Trial, is in my hands and should be shipping from Amazon and in stores any ol' day now. For the impatient, an excerpt from it is in the December reason.

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  • Abdul||

    I don't like the idea of registration, or the 3 year time limit, but I don't see how that makes it "difficult as possible for law-abiding people to own a firearm."

    I own a car and I have to re-register that every year. I still manage to hang on to car.

  • Naga Sadow||

    Having to re-register a gun every year may not be a winnable scenario. Everyone must register their tags on their cars every year after all.

  • Naga Sadow||

    Props Abdul.

  • Brian Doherty||

    I think the distinction that will be argued is that owning a car is not a core explicitly protected constitutional right, whereas post-Heller the right to own a handgun in the home seems as it it is.

  • Naga Sadow||

    Like hell it's not! LIFE, LIBERTY, AND PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS dammit! Though I concede your argument is sound.

  • ||

    I think they have an uphill battle convincing the court that annual registration and/or notification constitutes harassment. As Abdule and Naga Sadow said, you already have to do this with your car.

    What should be disturbing, though, is this thinly veiled attempt to maintain an up-to-date list of firearms ownership (including recent changes of address, deceased owners, changes of title or modifications to the weapon, etc).

    This means that any time the pols decide to go UK-style and do away with the whole firearms thing, all they have to do is go door-to-door with their neat little listing and confiscate to their hearts' content.

    As we all know in both theory and practice, such a system of registration is the penultimate step to, and enabler of, confiscation.

    At a more immediate level, the local constabulary could keep a listing of addresses where firearms are registered, and establish a policy to always enter such residences employing paramilitary-style tactics (black ski masks, flash grenades, break down the door, shoot the dog, the whole works). For "the officers' safety," of course.

    Because, as we all know, when the po-po finally catch up to that hardened criminal and his overdue copy of The Catcher in the Rye, he's going to make them eat hot lead.

    (OTOH, if they also establish a policy of not using said techniques on homes which are not registered firearms locations, then it might be a net step up from the present condition. But what are the chances of that happening?)

  • Naga Sadow||

    Carlo,

    LOL! I don't think I have ever run into a post with the word po-po and the book "Catcher in the Rye" in the same sentence. As for your points, they don't need a list. Just a natural disaster to justify confiscation. D.C. is just trying to harass.

  • SIV||

    Registering guns is not analogous to registering cars,boats and airplanes.It is like having to register tools and appliances.If a municipality or state had an ad valorem tax and registration of tools and appliances then the analogy would be valid.

  • Jordan||

    If you keep your car on private property, you don't have to register it. The same should apply to firearms.

  • ||

    Also worth noting is that many vehicles (boats, tractors, etc.) for use on private property need not always be registered (depending on the locality). Cars are registered because they move and stop on public roads.

  • ||

    Well said, Jordan.

  • Abdul||

    I acknowledge the differences between car registration and gun registration pointed out above. However, the 2nd Amendment allows some regulation of firearms, and is silent on when the regs get so burdensome that they become infringements on the right to own firearms.

    Because most Americans don't find car registration too burdensome, the courts are unlikely to find similar regs for guns to be burdensome.

  • ||

    Ownership of cars are not an enumerated right in the constitution. RKBA is.

  • ||

    "At a more immediate level, the local constabulary could keep a listing of addresses where firearms are registered, and establish a policy to always enter such residences employing paramilitary-style tactics (black ski masks, flash grenades, break down the door, shoot the dog, the whole works). For "the officers' safety," of course."

    Exactly. You can have a gun, but understand that you have to register it and if the police ever have a need to come to your home, they will kick in the door, shoot your dogs and cuff and stuff your entire family since it is known you have a gun in your house.

    I really hate these people. I just hate their guts.

  • ||

    However, the 2nd Amendment allows some regulation of firearms, and is silent on when the regs get so burdensome that they become infringements on the right to own firearms.

    Which is why DC (or possibly Chicago) is probably going to end up back in front of the Supreme Court to determine that. Which may not go down too well, unfortunately.

  • ||

    However, the 2nd Amendment allows some regulation of firearms...

    I know this is the common wisdom, and I know SCOTUS has said as much... but, the simple reading of 2A does not allow for regulation of possession of weapons.

  • ||

    Abdul,

    If I start a church in my basement and don't claim tax exempt status, should I have to register it every year? What about a weblog? Why is the second amendment so different than the first? Further, what possible government interest is served by my registering my firearm? Does the fact that it is registered keep me from using it for a crime? I don't think so unless I plan to leave it behind at the scene. Since ballistics of a weapon change as it is used, a ballistics fingerprint taken five years ago won't help the cops catch me. Please describe one real life benefit of registering weapons?

  • ||

    Jeez I had no idea Chicago was that bad. Even New Jersey doesn't require registration (it's voluntary).

    The second Amendment says "shall not be infringed" In spirit, this is means nothing that remotely limits is legal - like speech. But of course we know that there are many exceptions to freedom of speech: libel, commercial speech, fighting words and threats - none of which are mentioned in the constitution... Pretty much anything that can cause harm.

    This is also the arguement for restrictions on guns. Guns can cause harm, and so can (and often do) infringe on others rights.

    Registration does nothing helpful in that regard - but It doesn't seem like a stretch to think that some restrictions are constitutionally acceptable.

  • Abdul||

    If I start a church in my basement and don't claim tax exempt status, should I have to register it every year?

    The church or the basement? Because I think you do have to register your basement as an improvement with your local tax assessor.

    What about a weblog? Why is the second amendment so different than the first?
    Because SCOTUS said so, and they weren't all that clear on which gun regs would fly and which wouldn't. Obviously, no guns for felons was mentioned in dictum as a law that would stand. The vast middle ground is undefined.

    Further, what possible government interest is served by my registering my firearm? Does the fact that it is registered keep me from using it for a crime?
    For certain crimes, sure. If the registered gun is found in the possession of a felon, the goverment can start tracing back the chain of possession to determine if you sold it to said felon knowing that he was a felon. But since you know that, you won't knowingly provide your registered gun to a felon.

    Please describe one real life benefit of registering weapons?
    It gives gun-grabbers something to live for besides Michael Moore movies.

    We actually don't disagree on the gun registration law--hence my initial comment that I don't like them for the practical reasons you've implied. I don't like gun registration laws, but I think they'll pass SCOTUS scrutiny.

  • ||

    This is also the arguement for restrictions on guns. Guns can cause harm, and so can (and often do) infringe on others rights.


    I don't mean to nit-pick, but guns cause no harm. The actions of gun owners sometimes do. It seems reasonable to place some restrictions on the actions gun owners: you can't shoot somebody except is self-defense, you can't fire a weapon into a crowded theatre, you can't threaten a person with a firearm, etc.

  • Other Matt||

    For certain crimes, sure. If the registered gun is found in the possession of a felon, the goverment can start tracing back the chain of possession to determine if you sold it to said felon knowing that he was a felon. But since you know that, you won't knowingly provide your registered gun to a felon.

    Actually, no. All it takes in a "theft" in the chain, as we assume that the thieves wouldn't register the firearm. Without that, you don't know how many hands it went through, and if it was stolen there's no reason to even bring in the original owner it was stolen from.

  • Other Matt||

    Please describe one real life benefit of registering weapons?
    It gives gun-grabbers something to live for besides Michael Moore movies.


    And that was great, I might add.

  • ||

    These sort of niggling restrictions on the right to have weapons in the home strike Alan Gura, the lawyer who successfully argued Heller before the Court, as similarly open to legal challenge.

    The Heller decision is about 40% gun rights and 60% blueprint for restricting those rights. I haven't looked at it today, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if the dicta specifically flags registration as allowable.

    The challenge to registration per se is sure to fail. What will be interesting is when they start running up the fees on registering. At what point will the SCOTUS say that an exorbitant fee for exercising a constitutional right is impermissible? $100 per gun per year? $1,000?

  • ||

    "What they are trying to do is to make it difficult as possible for law-abiding people to own a firearm."



    The D.C. City Council isn't trying to make life difficult for law-abiding people, it's trying to impose its own morality on others in a deluded attempt to improve society. Same results but different motives. They are an example of the "Religious Left". They are identical to the Religious Right in their misguided belief that legislation can better society.

  • ||

    Wayne, I know where you are coming from - I'm a gun owner and hunter myself - and I was raised to respect the power of firearms from an early age. Despite that, but maybe partly because of that, I still think that firearms present a special difficulty because their use can so easily cause irreversable harm - both intentionally or not.

    Libel is not going to leave anyone dead. I don't favor any restrictions on ownership, but I do think concealed carry can be regulated if the state wants to. For areas like New York City where an errent round aimed at a burglar could go through some sheet rock and kill someone in the next apartment - I guess I'm just not sure. I believe people can and must be trusted - I'm not a grabber by any stretch - but the risk of accidental harm is unacceptable at some population density. I guess I'd favor some limit as to caliber and ammunition as the least intrustive rememdy - but realistically that will never fly.

  • ||

    "the National Rifle Association will seek a remedy either by legal or legislative means."


    Nice to see the pussies at the NRA are finally growing the balls to standup to DC. I guess now that Heller has been ruled upon they aren't afraid of losing it all. Too bad they are still pro-statist, pro-drugwar zealots.

    My money still goes to JPFO because they focus on the 2nd and ONLY the 2nd.

  • Other Matt||

    For areas like New York City where an errent round aimed at a burglar could go through some sheet rock and kill someone in the next apartment - I guess I'm just not sure.

    I have a problem with this, in that you're regulating based on potential rather than action. By the same logic, uncountable evils may be visited upon our heads.

  • ||

    I have a problem with this, in that you're regulating based on potential rather than action. By the same logic, uncountable evils may be visited upon our heads.

    I guess. If you live in an apartment building, you can't have a grill with a propane tank on your balcony because of potential harm. There are analogues in speech: fighting words are not protected - because of the potential harm an ensueing altercation could cause. Even the "fire in crowded theater" example is not protected speech because of the potential to cause harm. It's the trampling deaths - not hearing the words that cause the injury. I realize that the analogy is far from exact.

    In any case, the standard is usually compelling government interest - which I think could easily be met in urban areas, for good or ill.

  • Other Matt||

    Ok...

    If you live in an apartment building, you can't have a grill with a propane tank on your balcony because of potential harm.

    There is a significant difference between a firearm and a fire hazard. Firearms require an overt act, albeit I grant it may be (Plaxico Burress for example) an unintended act. If you don't pull the trigger of a modern firearm, it simply won't go off on its own. Propane tanks can rupture under pressure, without an overt act on behalf of a resident human. This is a significant difference.

    There are analogues in speech: fighting words are not protected - because of the potential harm an ensueing altercation could cause. Even the "fire in crowded theater" example is not protected speech because of the potential to cause harm.

    Big difference. You're not regulating the potential for "fighting words", you're regulating the utterance. The similarity would be to regulate the discharge of a firearm, not the keeping or bearing. I have no issues with regulating the discharge, as long as it recognizes the right of the individual for self preservation.

    It's the trampling deaths - not hearing the words that cause the injury. I realize that the analogy is far from exact.

    Again, it's the utterance, equivalent to the discharge of the firearm.

  • ||

    If you don't pull the trigger of a modern firearm, it simply won't go off on its own. Propane tanks can rupture under pressure, without an overt act on behalf of a resident human. This is a significant difference.

    My Grandfather told a story about a guy he used to hunt with whose firing pin malfunctioned while he was unloading it through the breech - he racked the action and the shell fired. Rare, but it does happen. It's also rare for tanks to explode without any action. Usually fires are started by dummys who don't know how to properly screw in a gas cylinder and check for leaks before using.

    As I said before I don't think the speech analogy holds up very well in all ways. For one, guns exist out side of being fired - whereas words don't exist outside of being spoken/written. It's impossible to regulate the "posession" of a word - it's not clear what that would even mean and it's probably not relevant. My point is simply that NO consitutional right has ever been held to be absolute without exception - and that the judiciarys (legitimate, in my view) role is to decide where one person's rights begin and anothers end.

    I'm in favor of minimal regulation - so I imagine we'd be splitting hairs of what actual laws would look like unless you are an anarchist.

  • ||

    However, the 2nd Amendment allows some regulation of firearms, and is silent on when the regs get so burdensome that they become infringements on the right to own firearms.

    "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

    "Well regulated militia", as used back then, does not mean "burdensome rules and regulations designed to harass gun owners and keep guns out of as many hands as possible". In fact, it means the exact opposite, something along the lines of "let's have as many citizens as possible trained to use firearms and fight together as a civilian militia able to fight off oppressive governments or invading armies", as pointed out here (from Wikipedia):

    "The first part of the Second Amendment is a shortened version of language found in the 1776 Virginia Declaration of Rights, largely the work of George Mason. Similar language appears in many of the Revolutionary Era state Constitutions. This Declaration states

    That a well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided as dangerous to liberty; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power."

  • Other Matt||

    I'm in favor of minimal regulation - so I imagine we'd be splitting hairs of what actual laws would look like unless you are an anarchist.

    I'm not an anarchist, but probably not. Again, I have no problem with regulating conduct, ie, discharging a firearm. I do have a problem with regulation of potential, ie, infringing on ownership or trying to "ban" a particular type of firearm or caliber.

  • db||

    It's possible to register firearms without re-upping every year. All lawfully owned machineguns in the U.S. are registered at the time of transfer to the owner. The owner is responsible for notifying the BATF if he/she moves the firearms across state lines.

    Is it reasonable to have stricter registration requirements for Title I firearms (anything not a machinegun, silencer, destructive device, "any other weapon") vs. Title II (machineguns, etc.)?

    I could almost get behind a general registration requirement if the ban on new machineguns was lifted in the process. I say this as the owner of several Title II firearms.

    One big problem is that the registration could require an arduous process every year. It takes almost no time and certainly no background check to register an automobile. It takes at least 3 months to register a Title II firearm, and sometimes much longer. Each registration puts the registree through a lot of B.S. including fingerprints, begging your local chief law enforcement officer to sign a form, and $200 for taxes.

  • db||

    Further to my point, people who compare registration of guns to registration of cars miss the point that gun registration is likely to be much more difficult than others.

    Anyway, why the hell should my possession of any property whatsoever be subject to a bureaucratic process? Busybody motherfuckers.

  • ||

    Actually, no. All it takes in a "theft" in the chain, as we assume that the thieves wouldn't register the firearm. Without that, you don't know how many hands it went through, and if it was stolen there's no reason to even bring in the original owner it was stolen from.



    As I understand it, the courts have held that a criminal cannot be prosecuted for failing to register a gun as this would be a violation of the 5th Amendment's protections against self-incrimination.

    Thusly:

    OCTOBER TERM, 1967.

    Opinion of the Court. 390 U.S.

    sions of 26 U.S.C. sec. 6107[n14] are applicable to the special occupational taxes imposed by sec. 5801, although not, apparently, to the making and transfer taxes imposed by sections 5811 and 5821. In these circumstances, we decline, for reasons indicated in Marchetti, supra, and Grosso, supra, to impose the restrictions urged by the United States.

    We hold that a proper claim of the constitutional privilege against self-incrimination provides a full defense to prosecutions either for failure to register a firearm under sec. 5841 or for possession of an unregistered firearm under sec. 5851.



    Haynes vs. US Wikipedia entry.

    Copy of the court records.

  • ||

    Usually fires are started by dummys who don't know how to properly screw in a gas cylinder and check for leaks before using.

    You check for leaks? If the thing starts hissing, the o-ring is bad or you really screwed up and have the fiting crossthreaded(about impossible with the newer fitings that the coarse outside thread of the cylinder), but I've never taken a specific step to check for leaks. Do you use soap and water or some kind of electronic transducer-type wand device? Cigarette lighter test method?

    I wasn't aware gas grills caused many fires. I'd have thought it would be charcoal grills that cause 95% of grill-related fires. (refuse to google it)

  • ||

    I wonder if an argument could be made that car registration isn't that big of a deal, because the average citizen only owns one or two vehicles, which makes the registration process somewhat easy.

    However, it seems to me that any gun registration scheme which requires intermittent renewals would become more onerous with each firearm one adds to his/her collection.

    It seems to me that it would be kind of annoying to have to remember that every May 15 you need to re-register the SIG 9mm, every July 6th the AR15, every August 12th Grandpa's old huntin' rifle, every September 2nd the trap and skeet shotgun, every November 20th the IPSC Race Gun, and on and on.

    With each new addition to one's collection, you'd have yet another layer of added bureaucratic hoops to jump through. At what point would those become onerous enough to cross the line into infringement?

  • ||

    Also, it seems to me that I say "it seems to me" to an excessive degree.

  • db||

    re: Haynes vs. US

    That is f'd up. I never heard of that one. Presumably the only thing one can be prosecuted for is the possession of an unregistered weapon. Which of course sets up a nice circular argument.

  • ||

    What part of "keep and bear arms" is infringed by registration?

  • ||

    What part of free speech is infringed by obtaining a license to speak at a public forum?

  • Other Matt||

    What part of "keep and bear arms" is infringed by registration?

    Start from the premise of "what good does registration do?"

    For instance, we have the dreaded "ballistic fingerprinting" in MD. It's been proven to not work, and isn't funded. However, they still collect casings from every new handgun sold, regardless of whether it's a semi auto, which ejects shells, or a revolver, which doesn't. It doesn't work, even though it's not funded it costs money, increases paperwork, and drives out sales by companies such as Tanfoglio who correctly view it as something to harass firearm owners and refuse to play. So, what is the reason for it? That needs to be answered first, before you get to lawyering the word "infringe".

    What part of free speech is infringed by obtaining a license to speak at a public forum?

    The analogous comparison is obtaining a permit to not have your voicebox surgically removed. The comparison to your example would be a permit to fire the handgun at a public forum.

  • ||

    Operating a vehicle is a privilege. Possessing firearms is a right.

  • ||

    I have a simple question. Why do people have to register their gun in the first place. If they bought it new, it was registered as of the background check. It should be registered, IF at all, once. Presently, you can give, sell or trade a gun without a registration. Why do the police need to know if you have a gun or not. It is a constitutional right. Registration, as done in D.C. does no practical good at all, except frustrate the process by law-abiding people

  • ||

    "This year will go down in history. For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration. Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future!"
    -- Adolf Hitler, 1935

    "Laws that forbid the carrying of arms, disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes." --Cesare Beccaria, quoted by Thomas Jefferson

    Why should a constitutional right require a license?

    Doesn't seem like much of a "Right" if you've got to ask permission of some bureaucrat
    to exercise it.

    "The criminals already have guns; gun control disarms the rest of us

    As for gun-control: The reason that gun control laws don't work is that they require the cooperation of a very unlikely source, and that is the criminal.


    It's more dangerous thing to have a government, with the right to take away our 2nd Amendment "rights" than for a citizen to exercise there right and arm themselves.

  • ||

    domoarrigato
    The second Amendment says "shall not be infringed" In spirit, this is means nothing that remotely limits is legal - like speech. But of course we know that there are many exceptions to freedom of speech: libel, commercial speech, fighting words and threats - none of which are mentioned in the constitution... Pretty much anything that can cause harm.
    ------
    -The free speech argument is not a valid argument. The implement by which free speech is
    apllied(the tounge)can not be taken. The possession of it can not regulated. Certainly
    the USE can be regulated(ex. Yelling fire in a crowded theater)
    We can certainly regulate the USE of arms(ex. Don't Murder)But the 2nd amendment leaves no room what so ever on the keeping(owning) and bearing(carrying) of arms.
    ----------------
    This is also the arguement for restrictions on guns. Guns can cause harm, and so can (and often do) infringe on others rights.
    ----------------------------
    -Incorrect - Guns Do not infringe on any one's rights nor does a gun by itself cause harm. - Improper and neglectful USE infringes on others rights and causes harm.
    -------------------------------------------
    Registration does nothing helpful in that regard - but It doesn't seem like a stretch to think that some restrictions are constitutionally acceptable.
    --------------------------------------------
    -The ability to protect you and your loved one's from harm is a responsibility that the gov't should not hinder in any way whatsoever.
    It is freedom that a gov't "of the people"
    should support. The constitution leaves room for the regulation of the USE of arms but if you read the 2nd amendment it leaves 0 room
    for any type of regulation in regards to keeping and bearing.

  • ||

    Gun registration creates, without a doubt, an infringement on gun ownership. Doesn't the Bill of Rights state "...shall not be infringed."?

  • ||

    Hey, I got an idea...lets create a permit system which has to be renewed every year for all abortions, thats not too difficult is it. Also lets register each & every abortion, with finger prints & photos & an id chip of course, also no multiple abortions but one a month only. LOL

  • ||

    Might I mention that registration is prohibited by law? Everyone seems to forget about FOPA '86, also known as 18 U.S.C. § 921. The operative text is "No such rule or regulation prescribed after the date of the enactment of the Firearms Owners Protection Act may require that records required to be maintained under this chapter or any portion of the contents of such records, be recorded at or transferred to a facility owned, managed, or controlled by the United States or any State or any political subdivision thereof, nor that any system of registration of firearms, firearms owners, or firearms transactions or disposition be established. Nothing in this section expands or restricts the Secretary's authority to inquire into the disposition of any firearm in the course of a criminal investigation."

    why are we arguing online that they should or shouldn't be allowed to do something that has already been legislated?

  • Steve||

    Charging a registration fee to own a firearm seems like charging a fee to register to vote. This would have the effect of negating the rights of a person who cannot afford it.

    I do agree with Jeff's post that registration is illegal. I'd like to see the NRA take this up next.

  • ||

    I don't understand the dumb comparison of registering cars to registering guns. You do not have to register a car or even have a tag if you restrict your driving to private property and don't drive on public roads. None of us has been asked to produce a drivers license or tag receipt when we buy a new car. The same should be true for guns. If you misuse guns you should be in deep trouble, just like you would be if you misused cars.

  • ||

    If poll taxes are unconstitutional, why should we have to pay the government to exercise our Second Amendment rights? States and localities charge for firearm owner identification cards, background checks,purchase permits and other impediments because We the sheeple, have been complacent!

  • ||

    No automobile registration is required for use on private property, only for driving on public streets. If you drive an unregistered car in public it is not a criminal offence but rather something that carries only a fine.

    To treat guns like cars, there should be no registration required to keep one in the home, and simple unquestioned registration and licensing available to carry it for self-defense on the streets.

  • ||

    Thank, all, for the answers to my honest question.

    And thanks Jeff for quoting existing law on this.

    And a note that long guns (rifles, shotguns) do *not* require Federal registration, only handguns (and machine guns, bazookas, molotov cocktails, mortars, "short barrel" long guns, and cane guns and their ilk) do.

  • ||

    So I'd have to renew the gun registration annually or it could never be re-registered?

    What happens if I move out of the District and move back in 5 years later? Hmmmmmm?

    I become a criminal as I cannot RER-register my gun?

    Whomever is giving these District boobs their legal advice is an idiot(s)!

  • ||

    Start from the premises that there is an individual right to own a firearm, which cannot now be disputed. All that means is that, that right is free from governmental infringement.

    There is no corresponding right to other types of personal property, at least not yet. Indeed, there is a serious question if government may now regulate this right at all. They probably can, to some minor extent, but they better step gingerly, because regulations can amount to a denial of a right. A good example is the poll tax. While not unconstitutional, in and of itself, it is unconstitutional if its payment is a prerequisite to voting. It will remain to be seen which regulations will pass constitutional muster, but I predict a lot will fail. Every regulation is now somewhat suspect, and firearms ownership must be looked at through the prism of Heller.

  • ||

    The tactics of Fenty and the DC City Council reek of despotism and contempt for the courts along with the civil rights they are charged with protecting and sworn to defend. Their legislative mischief making is nothing less than trecherous obstructionism, reminescent of tactics contrived in Jim Crow days to keep blacks from registering to vote. If these officials cannot be constrained through petition and/or litigation they must be confronted with courage and commitment. We may well need to follow the example of Dr. MLK in staging demonstrations and acts of civil disobedience. The most dangerous thing DC residents can do here is nothing!

  • ||

    You're missing the point on the car. You don't register your car to keep it. You register your car to be able to use public infrastructure with it. So what public infrastructure does DC provide for guns? Why are they registering guns that won't use that private infrastructure?

  • ||

    Since keeping (owning) and bearing (having it readily availble to use) at home are definitely CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS, how can D.C. tax the right?

    That's what registration fees are, a tax on a constitutional right...

    Poll Taxes were declared Unconstitutional in the past, because they interfered with the individual's voting rights.

    This angle of attack on the gun grabbers and gun registrars should be explored

  • ||

    Great Idea, XQQ...

    If D.C. can't charge any fees for their database, you can bet they would soon abandon the thing... except, of course, for the obvious fact that fiscal responsibility doesn't seem to be part of their makeup.

    After all, continuing to pursue obviously illegal and unconstitutional ordinances in the face of an order for the UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT doesn't appear to make much fiscal sense. Think of how many lawyers will be making money of DC's inanity for years to come.

  • ||

    oh, you don't have to register for free speech

  • Mark Neno||

    In the South governments tried to infringe upon the right of people (a certain class of persons) to vote by attaching orrenous regulations to the right - such as requiring a poll tax, requiring a literacy test, etc., etc. This is no different - the government trying to place restrictions on rights. Government can control privleges - driver's licenses, car tags. It cannot place prior restaints on rights to make it difficult to exercise those rights.

  • ||

    Owning a Car is not a CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT
    for those who are nieve enough to beleave that if soon you have to register your gun's like you do a car and you think that is OK then please exit this country you can live in Britian or Canada or any number of U.N. Controled nations and your new gun REGISTRATION FEE which is a tax with out representation will go for that new NOBAMA MEDICAL CARE SYSTEM." WHAT PART OF SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED" DO LEFTIST AND LIBERAL AND SOCIALIST AND COMMUNIST PEOPLE Not understand that if an attempt on abolishing the second ammendment is in oreder why not the whole list of Constitutional right's away.
    The Brit's told their populice that they had to pay for storage in ware houseing their weapon's and if they needed one of them then fill out an application and it would more then likly be released to the applicant for hunting or target or skeet shooting but it must first be approved.
    The next step was to abolish hunting in Briatin there fore you no longer need to target practice or skeet shoot becouse you can no longer hunt and you can still keep your gun's in the ware house if you continue to pay your fee's so as long as we have the gun's and you continue to pay us for holding them then you can claim that you are a gun owner.DUH
    OWNING A GUN IS A RIGHT/OWNING A CAR IS A PRIVLEDGE GOT IT STUPID?

  • ||

    "Since keeping (owning) and bearing (having it readily availble to use) at home are definitely CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS, how can D.C. tax the right?"

    - I emphasize that this right is among those enumerated in the Constitution which are recognized as PRE-EXISTING RIGHTS endowed on mankind by our Creator. The Constitution therefore does not have the authority to grant or deny such a right. Furthermore, the SCOTUS, which is established by the Constitution, can neither regulate nor limit natural human rights through their interpretation. Governments simply cannot legitimately interfere with fundamental rights of man, or they risk rebellion by the oppressed.

    We have tolerated too many taxes and confiscation of the RKBA - and it has been correctly pointed out above that the regulation of USE is much different than the regulation of POSSESSION.

    "Those who would give up some freedom to secure a little safety deserve neither freedom nor safety."

  • ||

    When all of you bleeding heart left wing liberals are standing in lines wondering where your next f....in meal is coming from, maybe your communist rhetoric will subside. Keep in mind, the 2nd Amendment is what ensures we keep the rest of them.

  • ||

    If the US COnstitution had an amendment stating that every individual had a right to own acar then I would also say fight that. When something is a God, and Constitutional given right no state or government may impose any restriction, especially a financial or monitoring one on the individual. Just how much taxpayer money are these fools willing to throw away defending their 'personal' wants.

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